Mike van der Hoorn | Young Swans will benefit from campaign
Mike van der Hoorn believes Swansea City’s youngsters will benefit greatly from an encouraging first season under Steve Cooper.
The Swans finished five points better off compared to last season, while they reached the Championship play-offs after finishing sixth in the last minutes of the regular season.
Cooper’s side went down 3-2 on aggregate to Brentford, who finished third in the table, in the semi-finals on Wednesday night at Griffin Park.
Despite the pain of missing out on a place in the final at Wembley, van der Hoorn insists the young contingent of Cooper’s squad will be better players next term following the experience gained this term.
Joe Rodon made 28 appearances before injury curtailed the 22-year-old’s season, while fellow academy graduate Ben Cabango enjoyed a successful debut season in the senior team and Jordon Garrick and Liam Cullen also gained first-team experience.
“If Swansea can keep building with younger boys playing together longer, it will be exciting to see what happens,” said the Dutchman.
“A lot of players have come through this season – some playing first-team football for the first time – and they will be better for the experience they have picked up along the way.
“Playing week in, week out against experienced players, along with guys who are internationals, will really help these young lads.
“There’s exciting talent at the club, and hopefully they will continue to progress and develop.”
With van der Hoorn amongst a number of players who are out of contract following the end of the Swans’ campaign, the centre-back will take time before deciding on his future.
The 27-year-old has played 125 times for the Swans – scoring six times – since arriving from Ajax in 2016.
He captained the Swans during the 2018-19 season, while he has shone in defence despite suffering a knee injury in January which had looked to have ended his campaign prematurely.
“I have to reflect now and see what happens,” said van der Hoorn. “I’d rather have extended it for one more week and play in a final for the club, but it is what it is.
“Every player has to reflect now, even me.
“It’s been a very strange season for me, especially 2020 which has been chaotic because of covid and my injury. I don’t know if it’s the end, but we’ll see.”